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back to article Sophos to axe 35 developer posts, shifts gaze to mobile, networks

Sophos intends to shed 35 jobs from its development team as part of a company shakeup. The security software maker confirmed cuts are on the cards, but would not discuss the specifics of the planned redundancies after an anonymous source tipped off the The Reg. The firm said it will attempt to move affected workers within the …

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Shame ...

I haven't dealt with them since the mid-2000s but they used to be great, and their AV was small, fast and effective.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shame ...

I was about to post the same thing. For Enterprise environments they were way ahead of the alternatives.

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Anonymous Coward

Sophos now has a long standing reputation of being crap

Sophos may have been great a decade ago but at least since 2004 is one of the more inferior anti malware products, with regulary very poor detection rates and security holes caused by sloppy programming which leaves the door wide open for exploitation. Sophos has a long standing reputation of being crap, a reputation that is well deserved.

Enterprise users still buy Sophos because it's cheap, because the remote management tools are somewhat decent, and oftan also because those that make the decision don't know better.

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not a surprise

After the the fiasco of its own updater being classed as a virus a couple of months back.

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Anonymous Coward

Screw 'em.

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Anonymous Coward

Quality of desktop products

Big shame really. I can confirm that the Mac desktop antivirus software is pretty rubbish. While the underlying scan engine is one of the most reputable, the interface is poor and the 'exclude' option just doesn't work.

Worse, when I tried to set up their small-network management server at home to handle Antivirus and Firewall clients on our various Mac, PC and Laptop machines, I found that I had to run the damned thing in a virtualised copy of Windows - in which it installed a full SQL Server 2000 instance. WTF?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Quality of desktop products

That would have been MSDE 2000 (which is not a full copy of SQL Server). :-)

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Anonymous Coward

A sinking, rudderless ship

Posting anonymously for obvious reasons ...

Sophos is a company without direction, that is in rapid decline. Anyone with a clue left years ago for greener pastures.

One of the posters has touched on the quality (or lack thereof) in the Mac desktop AV scanner. The reason for this is simple. For some reason that was never fully explained to staff, senior management decided to disband the existing Mac AV team (based in Abingdon, UK) in order to create a brand new Mac AV team in Vancouver, Canada. This occurred sometime towards the end of 2010 and roughly coincided with the first release of the free Sophos for Mac AV scanner. You read that right. They disbanded the team soon after a new product was released, and moved development to a *NEW* team, on the other side of the world. The official reason was that it was easier to recruit developers in Vancouver, though the Mac team has existed in Abingdon for years and all that accumulated knowledge was lost in one fell swoop.

Then there is the next generation console (the one to replace the existing Sophos Enterprise Console) which was in development for years, before being binned (they're now hoping to sell you a SaaS version of the console). This was a total train wreck from the get go. Instead of using the existing dev team who have the required experience and know where the existing product falls short, they formed a completely new team with new developers. You can see where this is going ... To make matters worse, after 2 years of development senior management decide to DISBAND THE TEAM and move development to a new team based Columbus, US of A. 9 months later, as the company runs into financial difficulty they decide to close the Columbus office and **move development back to Abingdon**, by which point members of the originally hired new team have left for different parts of the company or greener pastures. Sophos muddled along for a year and then decided to can the project and start a new one that is "cloud" focused.

There are so many stories of a similar vein, that I could actually write a book about it. Needless to say, I fully agree with Tavis Ormandy's conclusion that Sophos products should be kept well away from anything mission critical. The new CEO and CTO are obviously going to have to boll*ck a few people, especially as they encounter a slew of "What the f*ck" moments as they settle into their posts and become more familiar with the sordid state the company is in.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A sinking, rudderless ship

I don't know who you are. We probably know each other. But as someone involved in part of it, that narrative is absolutely spot on. And so are your conclusions.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A sinking, rudderless ship

The sad thing is that it all sounds so f-ing ridiculous and unbelievable. Unless you're involved in the mess and then you realise you can make this crap up.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A sinking, rudderless ship

Also agree. Successful companies don't waste millions on rewriting code that customers are perfectly happy with, but that's what Sophos has been doing, to it's cost, over the last decade or so. The ones they let go now could be the lucky ones.

Don't agree about Tavis though. He's not subjected other AV solutions to the same scrutiny as he has Sophos. The problems he's found are genuine but he could have found a ton of vulnerabilities in competitor products if he was looking there just as hard. He's not produced any evidence that Sophos is worse, just that it's bad, and this is an important distinction.

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Anonymous Coward

Obviously Sophos Has Not Learned Who Hagerman Really Is

Sophos will learn (hopefully) that Hagerman's skillset consists only of cutting people and then coming up with half-assed schemes to improve morale that has tanked because he has been cutting people.

If I were a Sophos employee I'd be reading every job board possible on daily basis trying to find a new job, because when Hagerman is through, Sophos will be the latest carcass in his Trail of Fail.......

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Black Helicopters

Where's

the customary rent-a-quote from Graham Cluley?

Or was he the Deep Throat on this one...?

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Anonymous Coward

A good show

I have to say that some of this does come as a suprise to me .. we are a fairly long standing customer and have always been impressed by Sophos - but that is partly because they put on a good show .. the labs are very impressive in Abingdon and their road maps always look very convincing. The good show was backed up by AV-Comparatives sheding a favourable light on them when we made the jump from McAfee.

That said, the last couple of mistakes have been pretty frustrating.. blacklisting Internet Explorer (probably no bad thing) albeit only for a few hours and then Shh/Updater-B has shaken our confidence in them a bit as you start to ask if they can't these things right then what else is going on!

Reading these articles and the Ormandy one is probably going to make us look at what we use for our Enteprise security going forward but it's going to be a total nightmare moving away from them to another provider. There is, of course, no guarantee that the new provider doesn't come with its own baggage that makes them less than perfect.

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